Los Angeles Lakers: 5 Biggest needs for the 2018 offseason

(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
(Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images) /
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Los Angeles Lakers
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5. Replenish the Bench

At the midseason trade deadline, the Lakers shipped productive reserves Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. to Cleveland. The primary purpose of the trade was to create additional cap space to use to sign a star free agent. But the immediate result was a loss of firepower coming off the bench. Now the front office will look to find viable replacements for Clarkson’s scoring and Nance’s energy.

One possible way to achieve that objective is through the draft, where the Lakers will pick 25th and 47th. Those positions are remarkably similar to where both Nance (27th in 2015) and Clarkson (46th in 2013) were selected. So perhaps the club can once again find success in those stages of the draft.

They also might re-sign one or more of the past season’s bench players. In addition to previously-mentioned Caruso and Payton, perhaps they will try to retain veteran Channing Frye, an excellent 3-point shooting big (and former college teammate of Coach Luke Walton). Other less-expensive candidates include Travis Wear, another good-shooting big, and Andre Ingram, the feel-good story of the year.

Many other bench players will be available through free agency. Some of the better ones will cost more than the Lakers will be willing to spend, but they might be able to use the veteran’s minimum to sign a solid contributor.

Finally, as strange as it might seem, if the Lakers are unable to trade Deng, it is at least possible that they will create a role for him coming off the bench.

Next: 5 Goals for the offseason

Starters at power forward, shooting guard and center along with backups at point guard and elsewhere are the Lakers biggest needs entering the offseason. We will soon find out how successful the front office is at filling those needs.